My husband and I, both 70, got married two years ago after living together for 20 years. When we shared our plans with his adult children, then 25 and 28, they were angry. His son demanded my husband’s will, which my husband showed him. In it he leaves all his estate to me, just as I leave mine to him. His son had hoped to inherit my husband’s loft in New York and pay me an allowance. In the end, the loft will go to his two children, and our upstate estate will go to them and my daughter. Yet his children angrily accused him of not putting family first. It has now been two years since they spoke to their father. In their last conversation, my husband said he loved them and was always there to talk. Should he contact them, or is it up to them to apologize? Should we also tell them that we have decided to sell the loft?
You probably don’t need me to tell you that your husband’s children behaved horribly — both by counting their father’s money as if it were their own, and by disrespecting your two-decade relationship. Still, I’m not scared of this story. Inheritance often brings out the worst in people.
I don’t say this to excuse his kids, but I also remember being in my mid-twenties: It can be daunting being a young adult without much of a financial outlook and with everything costing a fortune. So I sympathize (a little) with their grab for a loft they’ve long expected to inherit. I am also surprised that your husband has allowed two years to pass without contacting his children. They’re still his kids – bad behavior and all.
If I were your husband and wanted to reconcile, I’d call them to reestablish contact. Be the adult! They may be ashamed of their bad behavior or entrenched in their greed – or somewhere in between. If the calls go pretty well, he can invite them to dinner and start building his relationship with them. Pro tip: Leave the hutch alone for now. It’s already been the source of enough drama.
Too cozy for comfort
My boyfriend and I are going on vacation with his parents and brother. His parents pay for the trip. They sent a link to the vacation home and we see that we will be sharing a bedroom with my friend’s brother who has two queen beds. As a 27-year-old woman, I find this prospect uncomfortable. At the same time, I don’t want to complain about a free vacation. Thoughts?
No offense intended, but your question makes me wonder if your friend’s parents invited you to this holiday or if you and your friend just decided it would be fun if you went. Because I agree: the sleeping places seem strange.
On the other hand, his parents did you a favor by sending a link to the house in advance. Find out if there is a (pull out) couch to sleep on. Or buy an inflatable mattress. You are all adults and his parents are generously footing the bill. If you can’t make the vacation home work for you, stay home.
Looking for strings on a stranger’s gift
I have an online friend that I’ve never met in real life. We play Words With Friends and chat online about movies and books. I never revealed my age, address, or relationship status to him. He recently gave me two tickets to a concert by an artist I liked. He has not invited himself as my companion. Still, I told him I wasn’t comfortable accepting his gift, and I questioned his motives. He assured me that he was only acting out of friendship and that I was under no obligation to accept the tickets. Are people really that nice to strangers, or should I trust my gut that this feels far off?
Yes and yes. People are generous to strangers all the time. In fact, the massively low stakes of interactions like yours make it even easier to be nice. What could you fight about in a friendship based on online word games?
I also think you should trust your gut. You have a right to set boundaries, and if accepting this gift makes you uncomfortable or makes you feel guilty – which I get – refuse it. But whatever you decide, acknowledge your friend’s thoughtfulness without slandering his motives.
Sure, he’s cute. But is he to die for?
I’m trying out dating apps for the first time. A majority of the men on the apps in my area have full, generous beards. But I don’t like kissing men with facial hair. When can I ask a man to shave in a new relationship?
I wouldn’t ask a man to shave off his beard until you feel comfortable with him asking you to dye your hair a different color or get a Brazilian wax. It is not wise to enter into relationships with people whose appearance you want to change from the start. If you can’t wait to express your preference until a committed relationship is established, turn your attention to the smaller pool of clean-shaven men.
For help with your predicament, send an inquiry to SocialQ., to Philip Galanes on Facebook or @SocialQPhilip on Twitter.